Painting with sticks and apple printingPosted: 30/09/2013
We have been having some gorgeous early autumn weather so I decided we should make the most of it and take our latest art project outside on the deck. Less mess for me to clean up and a chance to enjoy the sunshine while we can – why not?! There is also something appealing about taking creative activities like this outdoors and, as we were using sticks and apples for our painting, it seemed fitting to be in the fresh air.
We had collected a number of sticks on a trip to the park so it was simply a case of gathering these together along with our other supplies:
Bowls of paint in suitably autumnal colours – green, red and yellow A paint tray so we could mix some orange paint Large sheets of white paper A couple of oldish apples, cut in half
I spread an old blanket over our deck to protect it from any stray paint, put ToddlerGirl’s table on top, popped her in her waterproof all in one to keep her clean and warm and we were ready to begin!
Given ToddlerGirl’s tendency to run and climb without a moment’s notice, it was quite brave of me to let her paint uncontained – i.e. not strapped down in her highchair! But it was lovely to let her have the freedom to move around the table and really get stuck into the project. I set out the ground rules before we began: painting on the paper only and the paint/sticks were not to be removed from the blanket area. She paid attention to this beautifully and, if she looked like she was starting to stray, I gently reminded her of the rules. This really worked and the activity kept her completely absorbed. I realised that she started pushing the rules at the point where she was losing interest in the whole thing, so quickly wrapped it all up before it got out of control, which saved any stress on my part. (Hey, I’m learning!)
I showed ToddlerGirl the sticks and said that she could use them instead of paintbrushes. She needed no further encouragement, selecting a couple of sticks, swirling them round in the paint and beginning to experiment with how this transferred onto the paper. It was really interesting for me to watch her explore painting using something other than a brush. She realised that she could use the ends to stamp down on the paper to create a sort of dot, or she could drag them like a brush.
We started off with the three basic colours and then I suggested that we make some orange. This proved a fascinating business, as we haven’t really done any deliberate colour mixing yet. ToddlerGirl really enjoyed seeing the red and yellow transform into orange.
After filling a few sheets of paper, I thought I’d bring the apples out to do some printing, another technique that we haven’t done much with to date. ToddlerGirl was very enthusiastic about this initially but, after stamping all over a couple of sheets of paper, lost interest. She definitely found painting with sticks much more fun, so we returned to this before finishing up.
I loved doing this whole art activity with ToddlerGirl; it’s inspired me to think of some other art projects we can take outdoors even during the colder months and also to start introducing new tools for ToddlerGirl to explore.